Apr. 30, 2020 UPDATE
Enmusubi Kigan Sakura Festival- えんむすび祈願 さくら祭り -
Jishu Jinja Shrine is close to some popular temples like a Kiyomizu Temple and Kodaiji Temple, so you get to see many spots at once!
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PeriodThe second Sunday of April, every year
VenueJishu jinja shrine
Story & Recommendation
Cherry blossom festival for good relations
Enmusubi (praying for a good relationship and a marriage) Cherry Blossom Festival (in Japanese, Enmusubi Kigan Sakura Matsuri) is held at Jishu Jinja Shrine, is located a short walk up the stairs from Kiyomizu-Temple main hall. Jishu Jinja Shrine is popular because it enshrines a god of good relationships. Okuninushi no Mikoto, and marriage. It has been believed that gods reside in cherry trees, and the blooming of cherry blossoms is a blessing of the gods. Enmusubi Cherry Blossom Festival is held to celebrate the beautiful full-bloom cherry blossoms and to bring good relations to those who visit the shrine. Needless to say, flower viewing is a popular spring event in Japan, but it is said that the Enmusubi Cherry Blossom Festival was the first one of its kind in Japan. You can also enjoy traditional performances like haiku-poem readings and music, so please enjoy a traditional cherry blossoms festival at the historical shrine of Jishu Jinja and receive the blessing from the gods who reside in the cherry blossoms.
Jishu cherry blossoms
Jishu cherry blossoms are rare type of cherry blossoms, which bloom only at Jishu Jinja Shrine. Two types of cherry blossoms not only bloom at the same time but also on the same tree. Jishu cherry blossoms are also known as 'Mikuruma-gaeshi no sakura' (Literally: cherry blossoms that make the imperial carriage come back). The origin of the name is in a story about Emperor Saga, who liked the cherry blossoms so much that he ordered his carriage to turn back three times on his way back from the shrine.
Floral tribute by ‘Shirakawa-me
When Kyoto was the capital of Japan, cherry blossoms were delivered to the Kyoto Imperial Palace by women who were called ‘Shirakawa-me ' every year. In accordance with this tradition, the floral tribune part of the ceremony is performed by women dressed up as Shirakawa-me.
After the ritual in front of the main hall finishes, another ritual starts in front of Jishu cherry trees. Kagura (Shinto music and dance) and music which is written about Jishu cherry blossoms and performed by shrine maidens or the chief priest.
There are two love stones in front of the main hall. One of them is in front of the torii gate, and the other one is on the other side of the shrine. The distance from one stone to the other is around 10 meters, and if you can successfully walk this distance between them with your eyes closed, it’s said that you will find true love. Feel free to try it!